Trumpster comes out swinging for Billionaires
Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a wealth tax on the richest Americans, blasted big businesses for turning huge profits while paying little in taxes and said he believed billionaires should not exist.
After his win in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in New Hampshire solidified Sanders’ status as a contender for the nomination, one Wall Street billionaire fired back.
Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein has lashed out at Bernie Sanders.
Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein has lashed out at Bernie Sanders.Credit:Bloomberg
Lloyd Blankfein, the former Goldman Sachs chief executive, took aim at Sanders on Twitter, saying the Vermont senator would “ruin our economy” if elected president.
He added that Sanders did not care about the military and was just as polarising as President Donald Trump.
It’s a cry for adjustment not systemic change (ODT)
Australia has 16 extra billionaires this year, taking the total to a record 76, with carboard and recycling magnate Anthony Pratt again topping the list of the nation’s wealthiest.
The nation’s richest 200 people, as calculated by the Financial Review, held a record $283 billion in wealth, up 21 per cent on last year.
It took a personal fortune of $387 million to make the list this year, up significantly from $341 million last year.
But the average wealth of Australia’s 200 richest people was $1.41 billion.
Apartment developer Harry Triguboff ($12.8 billion) and Gina Rinehart ($12.7 billion) were just behind Mr Pratt, with Hong Kong-based property magnate Hui Wing Mau ($9.1 billion) and Westfield shopping centre billionaire Frank Lowy ($8.4 billion) rounding out the top five richest Australians.
The chief economist at left-leaning think tank The Australia Institute, Richard Denniss, said it is no surprise that the number and wealth of billionaires has surged.
“It’s a good time to be a billionaire in Australia,” he said.
There’s a new Koch organization in town. Instead of trying to buy politicians to do the bidding of billionaires, as Charles and David Koch have historically done, this foundation will support community groups trying to cure the miseries of eons—everything from poverty to addiction.
And they’ve got some street cred, having successfully worked with renowned liberal Van Jones to secure legislation to reduce mass incarceration. Billionaire Charles Koch says the mission is this: “We must stand together to help every person rise.”
That is some good stuff, right there. It’s what labor unions have always preached—workers must stand together to gain the collective power essential to pull every one of them up. It works, too. In the middle of the last century, collective bargaining created the great American middle class.
Here’s the thing: Maybe it’s nice that some billionaires are willing to give. But billionaires’ “gifts” too often bear self-dealing strings. And handouts make many workers queasy anyway. They’d rather earn their own money and make their own decisions.
For Americans to achieve real freedom and self-governance, some of the billions that flow into the pockets of the already rich must go instead into the paychecks of the workers whose sweat creates profits. Political bribes, like the $500,000 the Kochs gave Ryan, must be outlawed. And the rich must be properly taxed so that the nation can afford to pave its roads, send its youngsters to affordable, properly government-supported technical schools and colleges, and restore its once-great middle class. American workers want autonomy, not charity, to help every person rise.
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Australia has a disproportionate share of the world’s billionaires.
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